Domestic violence is a crime that all too often goes unreported to police – and can be too complex for the police to provide an effective response to. In 2012, new domestic violence laws in Queensland were introduced to provide protection and aid people who experience violence and abuse in domestic and family settings. Here is some key information on domestic violence and the related domestic violence protection order.
What is Domestic Violence?
Domestic violence is violent, abusive, or intimidating behaviour in a relationship. The abuse does not have to only occur within the home for it to be ‘domestic’ – it encompasses any relationship with a family member or intimate partner.
There are many types of domestic violence; emotional, sexual, social, financial, spiritual, and physical. It occurs when a person has a power dynamic over a loved one or family member. This control and abuse can be expressed in many ways, including physical or verbal abuse, sexual attack, stalking, property damage, financial or emotional manipulation, and intimidation.
What are the domestic violence laws in Queensland?
New domestic violence laws in Queensland were introduced in 2012 to provide protection to anyone who is experiencing, or has experienced, violence in a domestic or family environment.
A domestic violence protection order is a civil order that prohibits the respondent (the person whom the order is taken out against) from committing acts of domestic violence towards those named in the order.
A domestic violence protection order works by stating rules and conditions that the respondent must obey. If they breach those conditions, there are serious criminal consequences that could lead to the imprisonment of the respondent.
What laws are in place for the accused?
An accused person – or respondent – who has had an application for a domestic violence protection order made against them will receive a copy of the application from a police officer or the legal representative of the aggrieved (the person making the application). The application will include the allegations that have been made by the aggrieved and a court date and time.
A respondent will typically respond to an application for a domestic violence protection order in one of four ways:
- Consent to an Order being made and appear in court by themselves or with a lawyer;
- Seek legal advice and ask for the proceedings to be adjourned;
- Oppose the making of an Order – this may prompt the Judge to set a new court date when the respondent can argue their case;
- Do nothing and not attend court – the Judge may make an Order against the respondent in their absence. A Judge may also issue a warrant for the respondent to bring them before the court.
If you need legal advice or representation for a matter involving domestic violence the team at Geldard Sherrington Lawyers is here to help. Don’t delay in seeking the assistance of one of our highly experienced solicitors to avoid the matter affecting you, your livelihood, or your family.